Doctor and Who and Missional Focus

Focus for Missional Action has three aspects: one which takes us forward in the direction God is sending us, one which can put a stop to things that will distract us from that focus, and one which helps to articulate our learning from any action we have taken.

  1. Planning for missional action becomes our habit
  2. Saying ‘no’ to those good things that God is not calling us to give time and energy to at this time
  3. Reflecting on the missional action we do

If we are not intentional in responding to the ways we have discovered God working around us and through us, the movement of the Spirit will continue on without us. In some ways, planning in Focus for Missional Action is the habit of lifting the sails on a ship so the “holy gusts” can carry us into God’s preferred and promised future.

To not plan for missional action is to merely observe God and have interesting discussions without getting anything done that is actually in step with what the Spirit is doing.  

Participants handbook Workshop on Focus on Missional Action – Church Innovations

 This is a directly from the Handbook for Focus on Missional Action. The last sentence so often describes the work of many congregations. We talk and talk about what God wants us to do and just keep talking or deferring it to the next “time”.

Other times, we want to jump into action, then plan what we will do after we tried it. Focus on Missional Action is not that kind of practice.

Other times, we want to thoroughly discuss, make sure everyone is “on board”, get the ducks in a row, make sure no one will say “no”, before we take any  action. Focus on Missional Action is not that kind of practice.

Planning for Missional Action is the key phrase to what is the practice.  We need to know where we are going and  where God maybe calling us. The old saying “If you don’t know where you are going you will defiantly not get there” fits with this Missional Practice. This practice works with the other Missional Practices of discernment, listening, pointing to God’s action and connecting with the people of peace. This practice is about planning and taking action in a focused and pragmatic way.

With this practice, we acknowledge and embrace that the Spirit is going to lead us. With this practice, we get our sails ready and lift them as the gust of the Spirit pushes and leads us forward.

The Focus on Missional Action Practice is also about learning to say “no” to the many opportunities that might distract us from where God is leading us.  Chasing after all the possibilities takes our focus and energies away from the few things that we can focus on. If the leadership feels stretched into many directions or that the work of the church is not effective because everyone feel pulled thin than it might be time to re-focus or rethink the direction that of the work.

The Practice leads us back to reflect on the missional action by asking the question “what did we learn?”.   When we reflect together we can adjust the course, the focus, the mission and act again.

Season 10 of Doctor Who is just days away. This, we are told, the last season for the 12th Doctor. Somewhere before Season 11, the Doctor will regenerate into the 13th Doctor.

When the 12th Doctor regenerated (season 8) he found himself in an existential crisis. He had been the 11th Doctor for so long (800+ years) that he could not articulate who he was in the new body. Season 8 was all about the 12th Doctor trying to focus on his “mission”, his identity and taking action within that new identity. Finally, at the end of Season 8 in the last episode of the season The Doctor figured it out. He was able to say this is his direction and he knew going forward where he was going to focus.

The Practice of Missional Focus is about moving forward. It  is about  articulating where God is leading, planning together how to go in God’s direction and taking the steps or lifting the sails that will get us moving on our journey.